Welcome back to Bush era: The worst week for stocks since 2008 financial crisis

By Updated at 2018-02-09 19:13:49 +0000


The stock market is on pace for its worst week since the 2008 financial crisis.

Wall Street’s main indexes fell more than 500 points Friday afternoon, deepening losses in the past week that have put all three main U.S. markets in correction territory.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq index was the latest to rack up cumulative falls of more than 10 percent from its peak - the technical definition of when a market is correcting.

By 12:54 p.m. ET it was down 1.7 percent on the day and 11.1 percent since highs hit on Jan. 26.

More than $2.5 trillion in value has been knocked off S&P 500 shares since then, adding to the sense that the tide may be changing after nine years of almost constant gains for Wall Street.

“I thought we were close to a bottom a couple of days ago, but it looks we’re in the standard path, which is a selloff, a rebound and then a retest of the low,” said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham.

“I’d like to see buying come in late in the day instead of having a selloff like we had yesterday.”

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 344.97 points, or 1.45 percent, at 23,515.49, the S&P 500 .SPX down 32.27 points, or 1.25 percent, at 2,548.73.

The S&P 500 has lost 7.7 percent this week alone, its worst weekly performance since the peak of financial crisis in 2008.

Utilities was the only slight gainer among the 11 major S&P indexes, while consumer discretionary stocks led the decliners.

As on other days this week, the losses followed some initial gains, raising the market’s main gauge of volatility, the CBOE Volatility Index .VIX to 36.13 points, three times what it was a week ago.

The yield on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries US10YT=RR, whose rise has been at the heart of the selloff, was hovering at 2.813 percent, set to end the week little changed after hitting a near a four-year high of 2.885 percent several times.

At the heart of this week’s pullback are growing expectations that a robustly performing economy will lead to higher inflation and a steady rise in official interest rates over this year, ending an era of cheap money that has driven the past decade’s gains.

Investors also pointed to additional pressure from the violent unwinding of trades linked to bets on volatility staying low.

“Volatility is here is to continue for a few days perhaps a few weeks longer,” said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

With Wall Street’s quarterly earnings season more than half-way through, about three-fourths of the S&P 500 companies that have reported so far have beaten profit expectations, above the 72 percent beat-rate in the past four quarters.

Chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA.O) was up about 0.9 percent after its upbeat results and forecast. Expedia (EXPE.O) shares sank 19 percent after the online travel services company said costs would outpace revenue growth this year.

FedEx (FDX.N) and UPS (UPS.N) dropped more than 3 percent after the latest reports that Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) will be launching its own delivery service.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch in New York; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Patrick Graham